Friday, September 13, 2013

Be a Tourist in your own city!

I finally did it.
One of the things that I dreaded the most.
Something only my mother could every make me do...


For those of you not familiar with this little tourist trap, it's a vehicle (of sorts) that can drive on the road and in water...WHAAAAT!? (she says in a Dance Mom's high pitched shrilly voice...) You heard me right. And they hire the most ridiculous, shameless people to run these tours. You can just be walking on any Seattle sidewalk on any given day of the week at any given time and at some point you will be publicly harassed/embarrassed by a Ride the Ducks Tour. All I ever thought is, "I'm so glad I'll never be on one of those..."

My family visited this summer from the Midwest (Ohio). It's always tricky when people visit from tamer, more drivable parts of the country. Here in Seattle we are famous for our large hills, lots of on foot travel, coffee, eccentric people and ideas, and over the top foodie spots. It's always challenging to make outsiders feel at home's actually always a bit of a culture shock.

I felt like my best and safest approach was to take the super touristy route. I would take them where EVERYONE wanted to go because well then there would be more people just like them.

We started with a little local Italian restaurant. (Thankfully they were impressed and that's hard to do considering our Italian roots back in Ohio!)

Our first major tourist stop was of course the Space Needle....surprisingly enough I had never been up! They absolutely loved it and I have to admit so did I! It was stunning and I felt proud that all of those people had come from all over the place to see a landmark in MY city! It was also cool to be able to look out into the distance and see my own neighborhood and the places that I live and work! Of course I also had to have Starbucks at the top...well just because it's what any REAL Seattleite would do!

After our trip to the top, we headed to the bottom of Pike St. so that we could take a stroll through the market. It was overcrowded as usual but my family loved the vibe and fell in love with our luscious Rainier cherries just like I knew they would :) We spent a little more time downtown, grabbed some lunch at my favorite little deli (Michou) behind the market and ate on a bench near the water.

This was about all my grandma and Auntie could handle and so we also spent a lot of time catching up in the cool air conditioned hotel. It was lovely to have them here and to show them the city I have fallen in love with and that I call my home.

(I did get Gma to try her first every clover brewed cup of coffee...she LOVED it! Isn't she adorable!?)

My lovely mother decided to stay and hang out for a while longer! She was game for some serious adventure and we fit a whole bunch of fun in just a short three weeks. It was so nice having her here and actually getting to have lots of one on one time together. Some of our fun highlights included a trip on the ferry to Bainbridge Island, riding the Ferris Wheel, eating on the waterfront, an evening in Volunteer Park, a couple more trips downtown, Sunday morning crepes, a Saturday spent at Alki Beach collecting rocks and shells (in honor of daddy) and lots of chatting at Starbucks. Here are a few photos from our time together in the Emerald City.

Ferry to Bainbridge Island...lovely Seattle behind us!

                                      The top of our great big ferris wheel at night!

Mom bought a Seattle hoodie...normally I'm not into the whole tourist thing...but it was just I broke it in for her!

Made  a visit to Kate Spade so I could show her why I love it so much...mommy is too kind and bought me a necklace :)
Picture of Lincoln and I from the evening mommy and I spent in Volunteer Park just enjoying the 
lovely weather and beautiful scenery!

We also took some time to enjoy the magnificent trees in our lovely park :)

           A couple of our Starbucks adventures :)

                      A trip to the Science Center/Butterfly House with the kiddos. Of course this was a daddy moment for us :)

Spent some time with our favorite 3 year old drinking chocolate milk at the coffee shop

She even got me to RIDE THE DUCKS..oh no she did not! I actually laerned some really cool things about Seattle! Like...did you know that the first Beatles song played in the US was in Seattle and that they came here for a late night talk show and stayed here in the city!? Or that Elvis came here to film a movie in the Space Needle and had his pink caddy washed at the Pink Elephant car wash every day!? We even saw the house boat from Sleepless in Seattle! Remind me to blog about the amazing Seattle facts I learned on this tour of sorts...for real...I was AMAZED by my city!
And I must made me fall in love with Seattle all over again :)

Spent a Saturday at Alki beach eating and exploring. Collected rocks and talked about daddy for a while :)

It turns out that every now and again it's not such a bad idea to be a tourist in your own city. You might be doing things that you have done a thousand times over and visiting the same old familiar places, but if you let yourself see it all with fresh eyes, you might just learn something new...and most importantly you may just fall in love with the place you call home all over again :)

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